Dr René Bobe

René Bobe

Research Associate

Research Interests

Research: hominin palaeoecology, evolution of African mammals, early South American primates

I am a palaeobiologist and biological anthropologist interested in the relationship between climate and evolution, with a focus on the environments and ecology of human origins in Africa. I study fossil mammals that provide long-term records of ecological and environmental change. I have ongoing palaeontological projects in the Afar Region and the lower Omo Valley of Ethiopia, the Lake Turkana Basin in Kenya, and Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. I also conduct field research in Chilean Patagonia to explore the environments and evolution of early South American primates.

PUBLICATIONS

Edited books and volumes

Reynolds, S., Bobe, R. (Editors) (due 2018). African Paleoecology and Human Evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (41 chapters)

Bobe, R., Braun, D. (Guest Editors) (2017). Hominin paleobiology in the Pleistocene Okote Member, Koobi Fora Formation, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution Special Issue, 112, 93-161. (November)

Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Editors) (2007). Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht. 354 pp.

Book Chapters

Bobe, R. (2016). Paleontology. Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. John L. Jackson, Editor. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199766567-0141. (June)

Bobe, R., Leakey, M.G. (2009). Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo. In Grine, F.E., Fleagle, J.G., Leakey, R.E. (Editors), The first humans: origins of the genus Homo. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 173-184.

Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. (2009). Diet in early hominin species: a paleoenvironmental perspective. In Hublin, J.J., Richards, M.P. (Editors), The evolution of hominid diets: integrating approaches to the study of Paleolithic subsistence. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 181-188.

Behrensmeyer, A.K., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. (2007). Foreword. In Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. xiii-xv.

Behrensmeyer, A.K., Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z. (2007). Approaches to the analysis of faunal change during the East African Pliocene. In Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 1-24.

Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Eck, G.G., Harris, J.M. (2007). Patterns of abundance and diversity in late Cenozoic bovids from the Turkana and Hadar Basins, Kenya and Ethiopia. In: Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 129-157.

Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Geraads, D. (2007). Comparability of fossil data in relation to hominin paleoecology: a case study of the French and American collections from the Shungura Formation of Ethiopia. In: Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 159-181.

Behrensmeyer, A.K., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. (2007). Finale and future: investigating faunal evidence for hominin paleoecology in East Africa. In Bobe, R., Alemseged, Z., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Eds.), Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 333-345.

Articles

Martínez, F., Capelli, C., Ferreira da Silva, M.J., Vera Aldeias, Alemseged, Z., Archer, W., Bamford, M., Biro, D., Bobe, R., Braun, D.R., Cunha, E., Habermann, J.M., Lüdecke, T., Madiquida, H., Mathe, J., Negash, E., Paulo, L.M., Pinto, M., Stalmans, M., Tátá, F., Carvalho, S. (Submitted - in review). A missing piece of the Papio puzzle: Gorongosa baboons’ phenostructure and their relationships with Papio species. Journal of Human Evolution.

Püschel, T., Marcé-Nogué, J., Gladman, J., Bobe, R., Sellers, W. (Submitted - in review). Inferring locomotor behaviours in Miocene New World monkeys using Finite Element Analysis, Geometric Morphometrics and Machine-Learning classification techniques applied to talar morphology. Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Villaseñor, A., Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (Submitted - in review). Middle Pliocene hominin distribution in eastern Africa. Journal of Human Evolution.

Bobe, R., Carvalho, S. (Submitted - in review). Hominin diversity and high environmental variability in the Okote Member, Koobi Fora Formation, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution.

Dumouchel, L., Bobe, R. (Submitted - in review). Paleoecological implications of dental mesowear and hypsodonty in fossil ungulates from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution.

Geraads, D., Bobe, R. (2017). Suidae from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution. Published online 21 October 2017. 

Geraads, D., Bobe, R. (2017). Ruminants (Giraffidae and Bovidae) from Kanapoi. Journal of Human Evolution. Published online 6 Oct. 2017. 

Patterson, D., Braun, D., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Lehmann, S., Merritt, S., Reeves, J. Wood, B., Bobe, R. (2017). Landscape scale heterogeneity in the East Turkana ecosystem during the Okote Member (1.56-1.38 Ma). Journal of Human Evolution, 112, 148-161. (November)

Püschel, T., Gladman, J., Bobe, R., Sellers, W. (2017). The evolution of the platyrrhine talus: a comparative analysis of the phenetic affinities of the Miocene platyrrhines with their modern relatives. Journal of Human Evolution, 111, 179-201. (October)

Patterson, D., Braun, D., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Merritt, S., Zliobaite, I., Reeves, J., Wood, B., Fortelius, M., Bobe, R. (2017). Ecosystem evolution and hominin paleobiology at East Turkana, northern Kenya between 2.0 and 1.4 Ma. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 481, 1-13. (September)

Montoya, G., Moreno, K., Bobe, R., Carrano, M., García, M., Corgne, A. (2017). Peltephilidae and Mesotheriidae (Mammalia) from late Miocene strata of northern Chilean Andes, Caragua. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 75, 51-65. (April)

Lanzarone, P., Garrison, E., Bobe, R., Getahun, A. (2016). Examining fluvial stratigraphic architecture using ground-penetrating radar at the Fanta Stream fossil and archaeological site, Central Ethiopia. Geoarchaeology, 31(6), 577-591. DOI: 10.1002/gea.21584 (November)

Fortelius, M., Zliobaite, I., Kaya, F., Bibi, F., Bobe, R., Leakey, L., Leakey, M., Patterson, D., Rannikko, J., Werdelin, L. (2016). An ecometric analysis of the fossil mammal record of the Turkana Basin. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 371, 20150232. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0232 (June)

Mbua, E., Kusaka, S., Kunimatsu, Y., Geraads, D., Sawada, Y., Brown, F.H., Sakai, T., Boisserie, J.-R., Saneyoshi, M., Omuombo, C., Muteti, S., Hirata, T., Hayashida, A., Iwano, H., Danhara, T., Bobe, R., Jicha, B., Nakatsukasa, M. (2016). Kantis: A new Australopithecus site on the shoulders of the Rift Valley near Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution, 94, 28-44.  (May)

Reed, D., Barr, A., McPherron, S., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Wynn, J. Alemseged, Z. (2015). Digital data collection in paleoanthropology. Evolutionary Anthropology, 24, 238-249. (December)

Plummer, T.W., Ferraro, J.V., Louys, J., Hertel, F., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Bishop, L.C. (2015). Bovid ecomorphology and hominin paleoenvironments of the Shungura Formation, lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution, 88, 108-126. (November)

Thompson, J., McPherron, S., Bobe, R., Reed, D., Barr, W.A., Wynn, J., Marean, C., Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z. (2015). Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution, 86, 112-135. (September)

Geraads, D., Drapeau, M., Bobe, R., Fleagle, J. (2015). Vulpes mathisoni sp. nov., a new fox from the Pliocene Mursi Formation of Southern Ethiopia, and its contribution to the origin of African foxes. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35(4) e943765 (7 pages). (July)

Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Reed, D. (2015). Pliocene Carnivora (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 107, 28-36. (July)

Hockings, K., McLennan, M., Carvalho, S., Ancrenaz, M., Bobe, R., Byrne, R., Dunbar, R., Matsuzawa, T., McGrew, W., Williamson, E., Wilson, M., Wood, B., Wrangham, R., Hill, C. (2015). Apes in the Anthropocene: adaptation and survival. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30(4), 215-222. (April)

Caruana, M., Carvalho, S., Braun, D., Presnyakova, D., Haslam, M., Archer, W., Bobe, R., Harris, J. (2014). Quantifying traces of tool use: a novel morphometric analysis of damage patterns on percussive tools. PLoS ONE. 9(11): e113856. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113856. (November)

Drapeau, M., Bobe, R., Wynn, J. , Campisano, C., Geraads, D., Dumouchel, L. (2014). The Mursi Formation reconsidered: a window into the East African Pliocene. Journal of Human Evolution, 75, 64-79. (October)

Patterson, D., Faith, T., Bobe, R., Wood, B. (2014). Regional diversity patterns in African bovids, hyaenids, and felids during the past 3 million years: the role of taphonomic bias and implications for the evolution of ParanthropusQuaternary Science Reviews, 96, 9-22. (July)

Geraads, D., Bobe, R., Manthi, F.K. (2013). New ruminants (Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Kanapoi, Kenya, and a revision of previous collections, with a note on the Suidae. Journal of African Earth Sciences 85, 53-61. (September)

Geraads, D., Reed, K., Bobe, R. (2013). Pliocene Giraffidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(2), 470-281. (March)

Geraads, D., Bobe, R., Reed, K. (2012). Pliocene Bovidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(1), 180-197. (January)

Bobe, R. (2011). Fossil mammals and paleoenvironments in the Omo-Turkana Basin. Evolutionary Anthropology, 20(6), 254-263.

Levin, N., Brown, F., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Bobe, R. Cerling, T. (2011). Paleosol carbonates from the Omo Group: isotopic records of local and regional environmental change in East Africa. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 307, 75-89.

McPherron, S., Alemseged, Z., Marean, C., Wynn, J.G., Reed, D., Geraads, D., Bobe, R., Béarat, H. (2011). Tool-marked bones from before the Oldowan change the paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(21), E116.

Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Reed, D. (2011). Enhydriodon dikikae, sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(2), 447-453. (March)

McPherron, S., Alemseged, Z., Marean, C., Wynn, J.G., Reed, D., Geraads, D., Bobe, R., Béarat, H. (2010). Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 466, 857-860.

Geraads, D., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Reed, D. (2010). Nyctereutes lockwoodi, n. sp., a new canid (Carnivora: Mammalia) from the middle Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(3), 981-987. (May)

Benington, J.B., DiMichele, W., Badgley, C., Bambach, R., Barrett, P., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Bobe, R., Burnham, R., Daeschler, E., Van Dam, J., Eronen, J., Erwin, D., Finnegan, S., Holland, S., Hunt, G., Jablonski, D., Jackson, S., Jacobs, B., Kidwell, S., Koch, P., Kowalewski, M., Labandeira, C., Looy, C., Lyons, K., Novack-Gottshall, P., Potts, R., Roopnarine, P., Strömberg, C., Sues, H.-D., Wagner, P., Wilf, P., Wing, S. (2009). Critical issues of scale in paleoecology. Palaios 24(1), 1-4.

Mbua, E., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R. (2008). A new association for East African paleoanthropology and paleontology. Evolutionary Anthropology 17, 123-124.

Alemseged, Z., Spoor, F., Kimbel, W.H., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D., Wynn, J.G. (2006). A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443, 296-301.

Wynn, J., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D., Roman, D. (2006). Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature443, 332-336.

Bobe, R. (2006). The evolution of arid ecosystems in eastern Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 66(3), 564-584.

Alemseged, Z., Wynn, J., Kimbel, W., Reed, D., Geraads, D., Bobe, R. (2005). A new hominin from the Basal Member of the Hadar Formation, Dikika, Ethiopia, and its geological context. Journal of Human Evolution 49, 499-514.

Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Carrasco, G. (2004). Paleoclima y evolución faunística en el Plio-Pleistoceno de África y América del Sur. Ameghiniana 41(4), 641-649.

DiMichele, W., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Olszewski, T., Labandeira, C., Pandolfi, J., Wing, S., Bobe, R. (2004). Long-term stasis in ecological assemblages: evidence from the fossil record. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35, 285-322.

Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K. (2004). The expansion of grassland ecosystems in Africa in relation to mammalian evolution and the origin of the genus HomoPalaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 207, 399-420. [Most requested article from Palaeo3 for the year 4/2004-3/2005]

Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Chapman, R.E. (2002). Faunal change, environmental variability and late Pliocene hominin evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 42(4), 475-497. [Winner of the First Prize for Excellence in Paleontological Research, Teruel, Spain]

Bobe, R., Eck, G.G. (2001). Responses of African bovids to Pliocene climatic change. Paleobiology 27 supplement to No. 2. Paleobiology Memoirs 2, 1-47. [Featured full-page in Science 293, 2377]

Kimbel, W., Walter, R., Johanson, D., Reed, K., Aronson, J., Assefa, Z., Marean, C., Eck, G., Bobe, R., Hovers, E., Rak, Y., Vondra, C., Yemane, T., York, D., Chen, Y., Evensen, N., Smith, P. (1996). Late Pliocene Homo and Oldowan tools from the Hadar Formation (Kada Hadar Member), Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 31, 549-561.

Other publications

Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Leakey, M., Mbua, E. (2011). The Turkana Database: An archive of vertebrate evolution in East Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology, 20(6), 256.
        
Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Chapman, R.E., Eck, G.G. (2004). Evolución humana en valle del Omo (Etiopía): relación con cambios faunísticos y variaciones ambientales en el Plioceno terminal. Fundamental 3, 1-59.

Bobe, R. (1997). Hominid Environments in the Pliocene: An Analysis of Fossil Mammals from the Omo Valley, Ethiopia. PhD Dissertation in Biological Anthropology: University of Washington, Seattle. UMI9806959.
 

List of site pages